The holiday season is synonymous with parties. Whether that’s attending or hosting, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself having a very social month.
But what happens when you’re naturally introverted? Whilst attending an event you may be able to limit your time there, but hosting people at your home; whether it’s family, friends or even people you’re less familiar with – can soon feel overwhelming.
Mattress Online conducted a survey to find what aspects of hosting introverted people find the most difficult:
- Over 40% of respondents claimed that organizing a party made them feel ‘anxious’ or even ‘terrified’.
- 64% of those surveyed said that they wouldn’t be comfortable hosting more than nine people at the absolute most, with 20% setting their limit at three people.
- The aspects of hosting Brits enjoyed the least were ‘small talk’ (30.5%) and people overstaying their welcome (31.6%).
- Over 20% of respondents think that 3 hours is long enough for a party they’re hosting.
- Interestingly, respondents were equally as nervous as hosting their own family than their in-laws, showing that perhaps the trope of dreading the other half’s family may be out of date.
- When it comes to guests staying the night, almost 1/3 of people were concerned about the pressure to make sure their guests were comfortable, and 26% were concerned about guests staying too long in the morning.
- When asked how to beat pre-party nerves, the most popular approach was ‘planning every aspect in minute detail’.
The survey showed that meticulous preparation was top of the list of coping strategies. Take plenty of time with your guest list and be clear on your policy of plus ones to avoid any unexpected visitors. Invite some close friends over an hour or so beforehand to get you chatting and make you feel comfortable before everyone arrives. Prep early and account for dietary requirements to avoid awkward conversations. When inviting guests, be clear on timings, when it starts and most importantly, when it ends.
Every introvert’s worst nightmare is being the center of attention and hosting a party can feel like a tremendous amount of pressure. Instead, ask questions. People are happy to talk about themselves and they’ll appreciate you taking an interest – this also takes the pressure off you having to speak at length. Be sure to invite extroverted friends, they can take responsibility for keeping the conversation flowing. Share hosting duties with a friend or partner, this gives you the opportunity to take 5 minutes for yourself
and recharge if needed. Also remember you don’t have to be an active part of every conversation.
Pay attention to the layout of your home and which features you want to draw attention to. This helps to spark conversation and ensure your guests stay in areas you’re comfortable with. Make sure that music is playing as guests arrive, this sets the tone and is a great way to fill conversation gaps. But at the end of the day, don’t over do it, your guests are there to enjoy themselves. They’ll find this difficult if you tie them into a rigid schedule of activities.